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Will colistin disappear from vets’ arsenal?

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By Matthew Limb

The ‘last resort’ antibiotic colistin could be much harder to come by in the UK if sales continue to plummet, affecting its commercial viability.

Latest UK figures, published last week by the Veterinary Medicines Directorate, showed sales of colistin decreased by a further 94 per cent to 0.001 mg/kg (7.1 kg) in 2017.

That is ‘considerably below’ the 1 mg/kg maximum target recommended by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) to protect public health.

As a supplier there is no demand and hasn’t been for a long time

Kimmo Atkinson, sales director of UK wholesaler Vetsonic, said: ‘Demand [for colistin] has dropped like a stone. In the farming industry there is a reluctance to use it, so as a supplier there is no demand and hasn’t been for a long time. I don’t think we’ve sold any colistin for four years.’

The situation has raised concerns over …

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